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Scottish Masters
Invitation Event

Brief History of the Scottish Masters
 
Like its counterparts in London and Ireland, the Scottish Masters was an invitation event, usually one of the first of the season, and was held, apart from 1988, continuously from 1981 to 2002. The first event, for which Langs Supreme provided the sponsorship, was held in Glasgow’s vast Kelvin Hall with nine competitors. 19-year-old, Jimmy White beat three world champions, Ray Reardon, Steve Davis and Cliff Thorburn, to collect the £8,000 first prize and his first major title.
 
Steve Davis beat Alex Higgins for the 1982 title when the event had moved to the Holiday Inn in Glasgow. Another year, another Glasgow hotel, the Skean Dhu, but it was the same winner, Steve Davis, who beat Tony Knowles for the title for which the prize had now risen to £10,000. Davis completed a hat trick in 1984, with Jimmy White as his final victim, this time at the Hospitality Inn which would remain the venue for the next four years.
 
Canada’s Cliff Thorburn beat Willie Thorne in 1985 and Alex Higgins in 1986 for two successive victories and then in 1987 Joe Johnson gained his only major victory other than the world title. The Langs sponsorship then came to an end and the event disappeared from the calendar, but only for one season.
 
With sponsorship from Imperial Tobacco’s Regal brand, Stephen Hendry’s management company, headed by Ian Doyle, promoted the revival of the event, now known as the Regal Masters, at The Scottish Exhibition Centre in Glasgow in 1989. The previous field of eight players but was now increased to ten with a top prize of £32,500. Hendry rewarded his boss’s faith by winning the event beating Terry Griffiths in the final. The same two contested the 1990 final with the same result. The event was now part of a World Series of invitation events and had moved to Motherwell’s Civic Centre which would become its home for the next eleven years.
 
Mike Hallett was the surprise winner in 1991 and Neal Foulds triumphed over Gary Wilkinson the following year when the field was increased to twelve. Local favourites, Ken Doherty had back to back wins in 1993 and 1994 but then Hendry brought the trophy back to Scotland with a victory over Peter Ebdon. In that year, 1995, a qualifying competition was introduced with the winner joining the other eleven invitees. Peter reached the final again in 1996 and this time came away as the winner against Alan McManus who was to lose in a third final the following year to Nigel Bond in the deciding frame.
 
1998 saw Ronnie O’Sullivan pick up the winner’s cheque which had now risen to £61,000 and Matthew Stevens took the title to Wales for the first time in 1999. He was the first winner to have come through the qualifying competition. On the second day of the 2000 event, Marco Fu from Hong Kong made the tournament’s first 147 maximum against Ken Doherty but unfortunately lost the match. Ronnie O’Sullivan beat Stephen Hendry in the final which meant that a Scottish player had lost in each of the last five finals – four of them to Englishmen!
 
For 2001, the event moved back to Glasgow, to the Thistle Hotel. For the ninth year in a row there was a Scot in the final although only one of them had emerged victorious in the previous eight. This time however John Higgins, who was in the middle of a fantastic run of form, managed to win beating the holder, O’Sullivan, 9-6. Ronnie got his revenge the following year, beating Higgins 9-4 in the final to win for the third time.
 
The end of tobacco sponsorship brought about the end of this event after 2002.

Roll Of Honour             

Year Venue Sponsor Winner
Runner Up Score 1st Prize
1981 Kelvin Hall, Glasgow Langs Supreme Jimmy White Cliff Thorburn 9-4 £8,000
1982 Holiday Inn, Glasgow Langs Supreme Steve Davis Alex Higgins 9-4 £9,000
1983 Skean Dhu, Hotel, Glasgow Langs Supreme Steve Davis Tony Knowles 9-5 £10,000
1984 Hospitality Inn, Glasgow Langs Supreme Steve Davis Jimmy White 9-4 £10,000
1985 Hospitality Inn, Glasgow Langs Supreme Cliff Thorburn Willie Thorne 9-7 £10,500
1986 Hospitality Inn, Glasgow Langs Supreme Cliff Thorburn Alex Higgins 9-8 £13,000
1987 Hospitality Inn, Glasgow Langs Supreme Joe Johnson Terry Griffiths 9-7 £16,000
1988 not held n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
1989 Scottish Exhibition Centre, Glasgow Regal Stephen Hendry Terry Griffiths 10-1 £32,500
1990 Civic Centre, Motherwell Regal Stephen Hendry Terry Griffiths 10-6 £35,000
1991 Civic Centre, Motherwell Regal Mike Hallett Steve Davis 10-6 £37,000
1992 Civic Centre, Motherwell Regal Neal Foulds Gary Wilkinson 10-8 £40,000
1993 Civic Centre, Motherwell Regal Ken Doherty Alan McManus 10-9 £45,000
1994 Civic Centre, Motherwell Regal Ken Doherty Stephen Hendry 9-7 £50,000
1995 Civic Centre, Motherwell Regal Stephen Hendry Peter Ebdon 9-5 £55,000
1996 Civic Centre, Motherwell Regal Peter Ebdon Alan McManus 9-6 £60,000
1997 Civic Centre, Motherwell Regal Nigel Bond Alan McManus 9-8 £60,000
1998 Civic Centre, Motherwell Regal Ronnie O'Sullivan John Higgins 9-7 £61,000
1999 Civic Centre, Motherwell Regal Matthew Stevens John Higgins 9-7 £61,000
2000 Civic Centre, Motherwell Regal Ronnie O'Sullivan Stephen Hendry 9-6 £62,000
2001 Thistle Hotel, Glasgow Regal John Higgins Ronnie O'Sullivan 9-6 £63,000
2002 Thistle Hotel, Glasgow Regal Ronnie O'Sullivan John Higgins 9-4 £65,000

Maximum Breaks
Marco Fu 2000 Round 1 v. Ken Doherty


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© Chris Turner 2008